Updated and Corrected
Sen. Joseph Biden told a crowd of hundreds of people in West Hollywood that the McCain campaign’s tactics were "scurrilous" and cited a wave of robocalls running in swing states that connect Barack Obama to terrorists.
"They have spent millions of dollars calling millions of independent voters and it’s a direct lie saying Barack Obama hangs around with terrorists who bombed the Pentagon," Biden said, according to a pool report provided by the campaign.
"We all know what a load of malarkey that is, but ladies and gentlemen, we cannot take anything for granted."
At the event, Biden told IN Los Angeles magazine journalist Karen Ocamb that he opposes Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in California. He had just finished taping an episode of "The Ellen Show" that will air Monday, and expressed his opposition to the measure to host Ellen DeGeneres.
At the vice presidential debate with Sarah Palin, Biden said that he opposes same-sex marriage. Obama holds the same position, but also has said he opposes Proposition 8, citing the fact that it would write a restriction into a state constitution.
Biden plead with the crowd gathered at the $500-per-person fund-raiser at the Pacific Design Center to talk to their friends and family and "make the case for us."
"There’s a great deal at stake, so my plea to you is, we have less than three weeks to go, so this is the time to focus like we never have before."
Maroon 5 entertained the crowd, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and West Hollywood Mayor John Duran delivered remarks.
There apparently is internal discussion within the campaign about how to best convey the message to voters that it is not just important to win the election but to have a mandate. In other words, Nov. 4 would mark a transformative moment as Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 marked a shift toward conservative-style governance.
That was apparent when Biden appeared later at a $5,000-per-plate dinner, and he told the 100 or so gathered that the election is "the most significant opportunity any president will ever have to literally change the direction of this country and change the direction of the world."
He qualified the remark by noting that Obama would not create a "utopia" — perhaps a reference to Republican attacks that Obama is a socialist who wants to redistribute wealth.
Also present at the dinner were director Curtis Hanson, Steven Bochco and Joe Pichirallo, the latter of whom was one of Biden’s key Hollywood supporters during his presidential run. Joining Biden were his son Hunter, and his nephew, Cuff Owens, the son of Biden’s sister Valerie.
Biden also joked about the role of the vice president. "Let’s get something straight here," he said. "As chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, everybody has to go through me. As vice president, no one has to pay attention to me."
Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti introduced Biden at the dinner.
Photo: Karen Ocamb